Markets corrected after 5 sessions of gains as the tension on the border between Russia and Ukraine soared after Vladimir Putin on Sunday declared that he had the right to invade his neighbour. The BSE benchmark, the Sensex closed down 173.47 points or 0.82% down at 20,946.65 points, while the NSE Nifty was down 55.50 points or 0.88% down at 6,221.45 points.
Brent crude touched its highest level for 2014 at $111.12/barrel as Russia is one of the major suppliers of oil and natural gas to Europe. European indices were under selling pressure with CAC 40 (-1.98%), DAX (-2.43%) and FTSE (-1.41%) trading in the red. Russiaís benchmark index Micex posted its highest intra-day fall (11%) in five years. The Russian rouble also slipped to all-time low.
Among Asian indices, the Nikkei (-1.27%), the Hang Seng (-1.47%), KOSPI (-0.77%), Straits Times (-0.75%) and Jakarta Composite (-0.78%) were trading in the red.
Experts feel the developments in Ukraine would dictate markets in the near-term. "Conviction levels will be tested in the run-up to the elections keeping it volatile. The Ukraine issue is one among several global issues which will influence the market sentiment at least till the polls," said Lalit Nambiar, fund manager & head (research), UTI Mutual Fund.
Meanwhile, the prices of gold touched four-month high in London amid a strengthening risk-off sentiment. Gold touched intra-day of high of $1,350.29/Oz. Back home, among sectoral indices, the BSE Capital Goods (-1.04%), BSE Power (-1.18%) and BSE IT (-1.25%) were among the major losers. Among individual stocks, Dr Reddyís Laboratories (-2.97%), BHEL (-2.81%) and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (-2.75) were the major losers on the 30-share Sensex.